A HVO scientist gathering lava spatter samples for chemical analyses.
Geologic Resources
In the Pacific Area the National Park Service has long relied upon the U.S. Geological Survey to carry on relevant geologic research and monitoring. Indeed, their early geologist, Thomas Jagger and his studies of volcanism at Kilauea, was the major force in establishing the first National Parks in the islands. Today, the center for the USGS studies is the Hawaii Volcano Observatory (HVO) within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (not coincidentally in a building funded, designed, and constructed by the NPS for the USGS).
Hawaii Volcano Observatory
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory perched on rim of Kilauea Caldera
HVO enjoys a world-wide reputation as a leader in the study of active volcanism. Due to their usually benign natures, Kilauea and Mauna Loa, the most active volcanoes on the Island of Hawai`i, can be studied up close in relative safety.

HVO is part of the Volcano Hazards Program and conducts research on the volcanoes of Hawai`i and works with emergency-response officials to protect people and property from earthquakes and volcano-related hazards. They work to reduce the risks from these hazards in the following ways.

Monitoring volcanoes and earthquakes to track their behavior before, during, and after eruptions and to determine the nature of their activity.

Studying the eruption histories of Hawai`i's volcanoes in order to achieve a long-term perspective that can help to anticipate their future behavior and identify potentially hazardous areas.

Communicating results of our studies with the public, emergency managers, educators, and students through the media, presentations and workshops, field trips, and the USGS Volunteer Program.

Visit the HVO website.

Geologic studies in the Pacific Islands parks.
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